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Old Time Trains

Canadian Pacific Railway

Trenton Division

Lindsay, Bobcaygeon & Pontypool


View of Lindsay on a postcard cancelled in 1910.

Mixed 606 with D-4g class 487 about to leave Bobcaygeon. Due OS 2:00 PM EST.
Monday, December 27, 1954 R.J.Sandusky


An early interest in getting a railway to serve Bobcaygeon where a sawmill had been operating since before 1846, came to nothing. Instead, they had to rely on tugs and barges working the extensive waterways of the Kawartha Lakes, including Trent Valley Transportation operated by the sawmill owners. It was about 50 years before they finally got a railway!

A charter was granted March 28,1890 to the Lindsay, Bobcaygeon & Pontypool to build to a connection with the Ontario & Quebec, still nothing happened until 1901 when a small amount of roadbed construction was undertaken. Finally, in 1903 work got going in earnest when the CPR got involved and shortly the LB&P was leased to them, effective July 1st for 99 years. Track laying began in May 1904 and made Lindsay by June where a dispute with the GTR caused difficulty getting a right of way. It was secured; track work finished up in Bobcaygeon and the first train ran July 28,1904.

Pontypool was chosen for a junction point with the Q&Q's mainline as a natural choice however, difficulty with terrain caused it to be changed to Burketon. It ran through Nestleton (Mile 5.9), Janetville (Mile 11.6), to Lindsay (Mile 22.5), Dunsford (Mile 30.8) and Bobcaygeon (Mile 38.7). Approaching Bobcaygeon a long trestle with a swing bridge always restricted the weight of locomotives used to a small D-4 class 4-6-0.

An extension of about 20 miles to connect with the Irondale, Bancroft and Ottawa somewhere between Kinmount and Irondale never happened. In the end the line never amounted to much, maybe the CPR sensed this when they leased it for only 99 years instead of their normal choice of 999 years!

The line consisted of 60-lb. rail made in Germany and Belgium rather than the usual choice of England. Enclosed 40,000 gal. water tanks were located at Burketon and Bobcaygeon, while Lindsay fed town water to a standpipe. Also at Lindsay was a 70' turntable, but no engine house; while at Bobcaygeon there was another 70' table and a small two-stall engine house. It was completed at a cost of a little over $16,000 per mile. The maximum grade was 1% northbound and .8% southbound.

Early passenger service consisted of 2 roundtrips between Bobcaygeon and Burketon along with 1 roundtrip of a mixed train between Burketon and Lindsay. The last passenger train ran December 10,1932, following which the line was abandoned netween Burketon Jct. and Lindsay Jct. The May 1921 time table shows a daily ex Sunday mixed from Peterboro via Draneol to Lindsay over the old GB&S and on to Bobcaygeon. It then reversed direction back to Lindsay and continued on the LB&P to Burketon Jct. to North Toronto. The freight was taken to Lambton Yard, although it is likely in those days the conductor would carry a passenger to West Toronto. After North Toronto closed, Leaside was the end of passenger service. Later, service was provided by Daily except Sunday Mixed #605 and 606 operating from Peterboro to Lindsay and Bobcaygeon and making connections in both directions at Dranoel to and from Toronto, until October 26, 1957 when all branch passenger service ended. Freight service continued with steam until early 1959 with 434 being used in January and February only if required to run into Bobcaygeon, otherwise a D10 was used. 1088 made the last steam run from Havelock to Lindsay on March 1st. Beginning March 3rd trains 83 and 84 were hauled by 6591 a small yard switcher which was sufficient for the amount of freight remaining. Although, officially at least, restricted to 25 mph on the main track, the cleanliness and warm cab of the diesel was no doubt preferred, especially by the fireman! Note: There was one last run with steam on March 7, 1960, very near the end of all steam, when 2219 was dispatched in place of a yard diesel. At least it was a stoker-equipped engine! 2219 was a Smiths Falls assigned engine.

A unique passenger service operated in earlier years to take Toronto residents to the Kawartha Lakes area in summer. Typical with other such summer cottage country Specials as the Bala Weekend and Winnipeg Beach trains was their weekend only schedule. Not so typical was the fact the train didn't return to its origin! Prior to 1950 most people worked at least a half day on Saturday, until 1 p.m. (stores were usually closed Wednesday afternoons back in those days too, but that is another story.) The Bobcaygeon Special left Toronto Union Station at 1 p.m. Saturday. When it returned Sunday evening it arrived at North Toronto Station! Why? Most people worked downtown, close to Union Station, while many (who could afford such luxuries) lived in the better residential areas of North Toronto. A unique solution to providing better service, at least until North Toronto closed.

Weekend excursion train from Toronto to Bobcaygeon with operator about to hoop up.
CP 17094 converted to train order office. Lindsay Junction July 1917.
Public Archives Canada C 12196

Mixed 605 engine 434 is loading express and mail (note hand cart)
as it prepares to leave for Lindsay and Bobcaygeon.

This train will be discontinued in a few months ending passenger service on the line.


Photographed from the rear of departing Number 36 the morning train from Toronto to
Ottawa. Due 11.05 AM EST. Victoria Day weekend. Saturday, May 25, 1957.
Robert J. Sandusky

NOTE: Scroll down to see another photo of this train with B/A tank cars.

Loading express into wooden combine of the Bobcaygeon Mixed at Lindsay while the engine
is off someplace switching freight in this timeless scene circa 1950. The Sirman Collection
The engine might well have been 487 below

D4g 487 at Lindsay, 1946 Walter Pfefferle Collection

D4g 434 at Dranoel with once-common B/A Oil tank cars delivering gasolene to local distributor on
the Bobcaygeon Mixed not long before its discontinuance. 5/25/1957 Don Mc.Cartney Collection.

434 being turned on the "armstrong" turntable at Bobcaygeon, same date. Don Mc.Cartney Collection

The Bobcaygeon Subdivision between Lindsay and Bobcaygeon was abandoned June 15, 1961. Following which 10 miles of the right-of-way was sold to Verulam Township for use as a road to reach an area that was previously inaccessible which included a beach on Sturgeon Lake. It included a bridge over Emily Creek and another entering Bobcaygeon which was acquired jointly with the village.

The former GB&S portion of the line between Lindsay and Draneol became part of the Bobcaygeon Subdivision following abandonment of the line between Lindsay and Orillia in September 1937.
It was abandoned November 25, 1987.

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